Barry Bonds became a household name as he racked up 73 long balls during the historic 2001 baseball season. He set the record for both most homeruns hit in a single season and in a career. Bonds owns one of the most impressive offensive resume’s the game has ever seen. Still, his achievements have been looked at critically as he played during the “steroid era.” During this time it is known fact that many of the game’s big stars were taking performance-enhancing drugs. It is widely believed that Barry Bonds was at the forefront of this trend. He ballooned in size in a short period of time and his offensive statistics seemed to defy convention as they improved with age. While most people peak around 30, Bonds had the best offensive season in the history of the game at age 36. The public constantly looked down upon this success. Bonds was viewed was a horrible human who cheated the game. Baseball is America’s pastime and the concept of players cheating appalled many Americans. After the publicizing of the Mitchell Report many players were forced to come forward and admit to their actions. For the most part the crimes went unpunished; a slight hit to their image was the only consequence the guilty players ensued. Bonds vehemently denied any and all allegations that he knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. For this, he has been under public scrutiny for the past ten years.
As the game has evolved and Bonds has retired, his achievements and actions have slipped into distant memories. Recent events have brought them back to the front page as Bonds trial for perjury is set to take place in the upcoming weeks. It is widely believed that Bonds lied about knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs while under oath. I believe that Bonds did lie. It seems very unlikely that someone was able to put up the numbers he did that late in his career. Coupling this with the knowledge of the prevalence of the drugs in the game leads me to the sole conclusion that Bonds is guilty. After reaching this conclusion it is important to take a step back and decide what the punishment should be for his crime. There are many out there that are disgusted that impurities like performance-enhancing drugs could taint the game, but I do not fall into this party. I believe that although drugs should not be condoned, there was an era when they were an accepted part of the game and should be deemed as such. When Bonds was accused of taking drugs they were not against the rules. Bonds is not on trial for doping, he is on trial for perjury. I believe that he should be punished for this and should realize his mistake. If he had taken the road of many other professionals such as Andy Pettitte who apologized for their mistakes the public would’ve forgave him and forgotten. Bonds was so insistent on keeping his public image clean that he ended up tainting it further. I feel for the ball player who was just trying to play the game, but I have no sympathy for the liar who refused to be honest with his fans. Steroids were part of the game of baseball and there will always be an era stained by steroids. I hope that the era is not lingered upon, but also not forgotten. After the conviction of baseball’s Homerun King hopefully we can put this era behind us and keep it solely as a memory and a warning of the corruption that is able to penetrate even a pastime as pure as baseball.